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Charterparty:
Maritime contract between a shipowner and a “charterer”

Charterparty:
Maritime contract between a shipowner and a “charterer”



A charterparty (sometimes charter-party) is a maritime contract between a shipowner and a “charterer” for the hire of either a ship for the carriage of passengers or cargo, or a yacht for pleasure purposes.

Charter party is a contract of carriage of goods in the case of employment of a tramp. It means that the charter party will clearly and unambiguously set out the rights and responsibilities of the ship owner and the charterers and any subsequent dispute between them will be settled in the court of law or any agreed forum with reference to the agreed terms and conditions as embodied in the charter party. The name “charterparty” is an anglicisation of the French charte partie, or “split paper”, i.e. a document written in duplicate so that each party retains half.

Types of charterparty
Main article: Chartering (shipping)
There are three main types of charterparty: time, voyage and demise and another :

In a demise (or bareboat) charter, the charterer takes responsibility for the crewing and maintenance of the ship during the time of the charter. He assumes the legal responsibilities of the owner, and is known as a disponent owner.[citation needed]
In a time charter, the vessel is hired for a specific amount of time. The shipowner manages the vessel but the charterer gives orders for the employment of the vessel, and may sub-charter the vessel on a time charter or voyage charter basis.
In a voyage charter, the charterer hires the vessel for a single voyage, but the shipowner provides the master, crew, bunkering and supplies.
A demise charter operates as a long lease of the vessel, with the charterer completely in charge. In time and voyage charters, the shipowner still runs the ship, but when in port the charterer becomes responsible for loading and unloading the ship within the agreed period of laytime. If the charterer exceeds the allowed laytime, demurrage becomes payable.



Typical clauses
A charterparty may contain these clauses.

Bunker clause
A bunker clause stipulates that the charterer shall accept and pay for all fuel oil in the vessel’s bunkers at port of delivery and conversely, (owners) shall pay for all fuel oil in the vessel’s bunkers at port of re-delivery at current price at the respective ports. It is customary to agree upon a certain minimum and maximum quantity in bunkers on re-delivery of the vessel. Since the OW Bunker test case, ship operators need to take care to ensure that bunker supply terms are suitable.

Ship clause
Under this clause, the owner of the ship writes clearly that the ship would be seaworthy at the start of the voyage in every respect, in other words, the ship would be appropriate to travel to the country for which it is taken.

Ice clause
An ice clause is inserted in a bill of lading or a charterparty when a vessel is bound for a port or ports which may be closed to shipping by ice when the vessel arrives or after the vessel’s arrival.

Lighterage clause
A lighterage clause is inserted into charter-parties which show as port of discharge any safe port in a certain range, e.g. Havre/Hamburg range.

Negligence clause
A negligence clause tends to exclude shipowner’s or carrier’s liability for loss or damage resulting from an act, default or neglect of the master, mariner, pilot or the servants of the carrier in the navigation of manoeuvring of a ship, not resulting, however, from want of due diligence by the owners of the ship or any of them or by the ship’s husband or manager.

Ready berth clause
A ready berth clause is inserted in a charterparty, i.e. a stipulation to the effect that laydays will begin to count as soon as the vessel has arrived at the port of loading or discharge “whether in berth or not”. It protects shipowner’s interests against delays which arise from ships having to wait for a berth.

See: WIKIPEDIA

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Harvey Yan

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